I know some of us had our doubts if it would ever arrive, but I think I am safe insaying Spring is finally here. it will probably be a short one and before long everyone will be complaining about the heat. Not me! I am a summer person and it has been a long cold winter! If you are tempted to rail about the heat and humidity in South-Western Ontario in the summer, just enjoy and remember what our winter was like.
The trees are sprouting and the flowering bushes are out in full bloom. My wife commented yesterday about the beautiful pink and white blossoms that are so beautiful but so short lived. She used to drive her grandmother around the city when she was with us to admire the Spring Sights. Grandma was a nature lover.
With Spring comes some yard work, maybe a little new landscaping and planting some annuals for color here and there and that so necessary. CurbAppeal for your home. We all want to create that `Welcome Look` to our front entrances. You may even have some wimdow boses mthat you can plant .The lawns have to be cut and it is time to spray those nasty weeds that keep coming up in the gardens. Be careful not to pick a windy day as you will get over spray and ruin your plants. Spray close to the weed root. Be sure to trim all the dead off your bushes and plants and give them room to sprout new growth.We always like to put a fresh coat of mulch on the gardens and spray weeds and fertilize the lawn at this time of year. If you do not know what to use, get some Professional advise.We have severalChatham-Kent Nurseries and Landscape Companies who can help. You may have to consider staining your deck to give it that fresh look as well.
Speaking of Nurseries, I just want to give a plug to the Glasshouse Nursery. I read a great article in the latest issue of CK Senior about this establishment. It was started by Papa (Martin) VanRaay close to 50 years ago. Our condolances to the family on his recent passing. The family is keeping his dream alive and well. It is a family owned operation and continues to thrive today. Sue and Dave Van Raay along with their children Sarah, Erin and Simon run the Business. In the article Dave thanks our great community for their continued support and assures everyone that their personal customer service which is a hallmark of the operation will continue.
Good planting everyone and enjoy the weather!
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location with many amenities. Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal lePagePefier Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real estate need and visit my website for for the latest Chatham-Kent listings and upcoming Events.
You love your home and your neighborhood. However, you are not adverse to adding a few new touches, here and there to give it some pizazz.
Let's cover a few key areas.
Front Entrances: This is the first impression visitors have or your home. Make it welcoming and convenient.
1) Mirror You can either hang a mirror over a table or if possible mirror a wall. This is a great optical illusion for small entrances. and it will give a feeling of spaciousness.
2)Table Place to drop your keys or visitors purse, phone or gloves while guests are removing their coats and shoes.
3) Bench or chair Someplace to sit while removing boots or shoes.
4) New entrance flooring to present the Wow factor
Family Room: With open concept great rooms being so popular today, this is the room where the family gathers and spends most of their time. Separate living rooms although still found in some homes are not the place where families watch television and congregate. If this is the case in your home spend the bulk of your budget on a comfortable servicable sofa with loveseat/chairs or a sectional. If it is possible, you may want to take a wall out between the living room and family room and create a large great room.
Fireplace: This adds warmth to a family room and a great focal point. Televisions can be mounted above which solves the dated problem of where to place the TV. If a gas fireplace is not feasable try an electric fireplace. The cost is much less and you can achive a similar result.
Glass Tables: Accent tables or a glass dining room table or desk will give the illusion of space.
Clutter Removal: If you have numerous books, or other items sitting around, consider a wall cabinet to show your accessories in a more organized way.
Area Rug: Search for a color scheme or pattern that pulls the room together.The rug does not necessarily have to be expensive. It is the overall look that is important.
Color: Monochromatic can be very attractive but not for everyone. If you like color, use it. Add splashes of your favorite tones to that monochromatic room and it will be transformed. This can be accomplished through accessories such as pillows, throws, wall and table art. The beauty of this inexpensive makeover is that when you tire of the look, you can remove the color and enjoy the serenity of that monochromatic room again.
Bedrooms: Chose colors that flow. If the hallway is a cool color keep the bedrooms which you can see from the hall in the same pallette. It does not have to be the same color or even similar but if it is also cool, the space will appear larger.
Chair/Table Desk: If space allows, a reading corner is a welcome addition especially to the master bedroom. In a child's room, a desk and chair are often needed for homework. If you are on a budget, watch the garage sales or the kijiji ads. You can slip cover a chair inexpensively or use a wooden chair like a rocker and put a throw and/or cushion on it to match your bedspread. Place a small table for reading beside and the room has a perfect place to read or spend some quiet time. For the child's room search for a compact desk and chair and some wall units if possible.
In all of the above remember greenery! It will add wamth to a room, fill empty corners and be your most inexpensive way to complete the look of your home. Have fun!
Sunday as we were driving to Windsor, I thought about this list. It was so spring - like I thought maybe it was a little late. But, as we all know in this area, we may have snow and cold until April. Then, this week as we slipped around on the icy streets witnessing a few accidents, I knew I was right on time. In the last few weeks, I have encountered several people who could have used this advice. Based on that and the fact that we still have March to go, I decided to write on Winter Preparation. We all remember some pretty severe March storms.
1) Winterize your home.
a) Be sure that all exterior pipes are wrapped. I spoke to a few people who had quite a mess as a result of skipping this precaution during our bout of frigid temperatures of -17 in December and January.
b) Repair all roof leaks no matter how small they may seem. Excess weight from the snow and ice can cause severe damage. A leaky roof may turn into wet walls, and paint repair inside the home.
c) Try to prevent all draughts by installing weather stripping where possible and check storm doors and windows.
2) Check your Homes Heating System:
a) Furnaces should be professionally serviced and filters changed.
b) Fireplaces should be inspected and cleaned. A roaring fire in the freezing cold temperatures is wonderful but not if you have a chimney fire or worse.
c) Always have up to date smoke detectors and test batteries monthly.
d) Plan for an alternate heat source in case of outages.
e) Be sure your Carbon Monoxide detector is current and in good working order.
f) If you do not have one,Install a Carbon Dioxide detector and be aware of Carbon Dioxide poisoning symptoms such as headache, nausea and disorientation. they are silent killers.
3)Prepare your Car for Emergencies: Do regular maintenance.
a) Always keep your fuel tank close to full to prevent freezing in the tank and feul lines.
b) Have windshield washer fluid full and have extra on hand in trunk.
c) Have an emergency kit ready for any situations that may arise:
-booster cables, flares, tire pump and sand for traction in case you get stuck.
-warm clothing: heavy coat, boots, scarf, mitts in case you get stranded
-food and water for emergencies: food bars, bottled water, thermos with hot beverage If the trip is long and the weather forecast is bad.
-first Aid Kit
-flashlight and phone to call for help
d) If you do get stranded in your car. Stay in the vehicle and call for help. Never get out and walk. You may get disorientated Make sure the tail pipe is not blocked. Do not run the engine and heater more that 10 minutes every hour. Tie something bright on the antenna and if it is not snowing raise the hoods.
4) Dress Yourself, Children and Pets for the temperature: Frost bite can occur very quickly in below zero temperatures.
Enjoy our winter months. They can be fun. Our grandchildren love to play in the snow and winter activities can be great family adventures. It just takes common sense and a few check lists to ensure safety. Don't be caught off guard.
I added some winter pictures from years gone by. The weatherman says we are in for a snowy February and March so theses scenes will most definitely be back again. Get ready and be safe.
Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs and visit my website for other Homeowner Tips, Events, Happenings and Choice Properties For Sale in Chatham-Kent
Christmas is over and if you are like us, you probably ate too much. We decided to go for it and buckle down the first of the year. Just less than a week to go! We love the Christmas season at our home. We take turns hosting Christmas and this year was our turn which was really special. We started with appetizers and finished with the traditional turkey dinner complete with 2 dessert choices. We brought out Baby Jesus' Birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday. Our daughter even made a beautiful Raspberry Torte which was delicious. They all went home with a care package of leftovers. We love to have everyone here. Some of the younger ones even had a dance contest on the WEE. It was great fun to watch all the energy they have. Being together to celebrate is what is important and a special gift wherever we meet. Many people share that sentiment and I heard recently on the radio, the 5 most popular reasons for the added joy. Besides parties and holidays off work with friends and family, one of the main reasons was the Christmas Spirit. That to me, means simply that people, in general, are happier. Somehow, many are able to put aside their everyday worries, just enjoy each other and the simpler pleasures of life. It is that time of year when Family traditions are celebrated and new ones are made!
I know each year, for many years, our two older grandchildren have enjoyed coming for the weekend, helping grandma decorate cookies and driving to Michigan, to a little place we found, to enjoy the extravagant Christmas light displays. Although they are now 18 and 21, they still come, for the car ride anyway and we had our special night together this year last Friday. It was great. Everybody is so busy but Christmas time is that special time of year when many of us just kind of slow down and smell the roses.Our younger grandchildren are not so fond of driving around inthe car looking at the lights and their Mom is a fantastic baker so we are still searching for that special event that they will always associate with Christmas at grandma andgrandpa's house. My wife thought it might be helping decorate with the teddy bears and the ginger bread decorations but they soon tired of that. Whatever it may be, the best part is just being with them at this special time of year. It may just be cuddling on the sofa, watching their favorite Christmas Movie with the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the background. I realize we are very fortunate. Both of our grown children are married with families of their own but they live in this general area. We are still able to get together and celebrate. I hear so many friends speak about their grandchildren located all over the world. Thanks heavens for the Internet and the ability to visit face to face. I am sure that their Family traditions and the memories of them are as important to them as they are to our family.
Santa Claus arrived in Chatham-Kent for the Annual Christmas parade in November. The IODEChristmas Walk was November 18-19 and even though the weather did not cooperate, it was a great time. There have been several Christmas Events and activities in Chatham-Kent.Christmas In Muskoka was held at the Chatham Armouries Nov 28- Dec 2, Elvis, a Christmas Special featuring Pete Paquette at the Capitol Theatre was Friday, December 1 and the Chatham-Kent Chorale also at the Capitol Theatre took place on Sunday December 3, just to name a few. I hope you gathered the family and attended some of these great seasonal events and others that took place in our Municipality. If not, put that on your to-do list for next year.
Chatham-Kent is the affordable Lifestyle location with lots to see and enjoy. Build your own Christmas Traditions, Create Memories and Enjoy the remainder of the Holidays whatever you do. Always remember the "reason for the season." Our family likes to have a birthday cake for Baby Jesus. It helps to remind the little ones that Santa Claus and toys are not the most important thing at Christmas. You do what suits your family. Have a blest and Happy Christmas and all the Best in 2018.
Before I write this article, I have to fess up and tell you that I am quoting my wife in many of the things I will write. She is a decorator and I have heard her give many of these tips to family, friends and clients. In my defense, we have been married for 52 years and as the old saying goes "if you can't beat them, then join them" I watch some of those home decorating shows on TV with her and we did go together to the recent IODE Christmas Walk. I have learned a few things on my own and I think I have a pretty good eye, even if I do say somyself!
Lighting; Simple white lights can add a real ambiance to a room. If you have existinggreenery such as silk trees or plants, drape a couple of strands of lights over them. If you are not into a lot of decorating for the Holidays, this one simple step will go a long way. Also a few strings of lights, draped over the shrubbery outside, gives a warm and inviting look to your home and unlike hanging lights on the exterior of your home takes very little time.
Christmas Planters: You can make your own as we did one year. Just remember the sizeof your porch or front walk. We had a good laugh at our house that Christmas . My wife took a course on the how-to and she was away to the races. They were beautiful but a real problem to lift from the garage where we made them, to the front porch and a little large for the house. I teased that they would have been better suited to the Bradley Centre. She tried! Now we buy ours already assembled and just add a few of our own touches before we put them out.
Christmas Trees : In recent years the pre-lit trees have become very popular. I think most of us can remember trying to untangle those strings of lights which you are sure you put away neatly. And how about the old strings which went out if one bulb was bad. Bring back horrible memories anyone? Today, it is simple to assemble the tree and plug it in. If you still have the unlit one or you prefer a real Christmas tree, good luck! I am for the simple way! There are all sizes and shapes of artificial trees today. If you have downsized like we have, you may like the slim trees which require far less space. They look especially good if you have the room for 2 or 3 together in varying heights.In some settings the light alone are enough. Or if less is more in your books, you may just want a small table size tree with miniature ornaments which looks great.
Wreaths: There is every look imaginable out there for every taste. You may like a realevergreen wreath with a nice big bow and ornaments for the door or a pine cone wreath, a tree branch wreath with birds and feathers or even a feather wreath. That is what is so great about Christmas decorations. Nothing is ever out of style. It is your home and whatever your style and choice, have fun with it.
Color Schemes: The traditional Christmas tree in my childhood was always red and green but color has evolved just as the trees have. If you want to see the many choices available, visit one of the florist shops or nurseries, like the Glasshouse and see their manydisplays. The owners and staff at the Glasshouse do an amazing transformation each year and it is a great place to get ideas for your home. I warn you though, if you are like my wife, there is always something that would look just perfect with what we already have! ha ha. I recently saw a store window with black trees, not my choice but very elegant looking. Be creative and try something new. Gold and Silver are always a good combination or white with gold or silver.
Table Centres: My wife loves to make these but don't make them too big or you will have toremove them to make room for your place settings. She loves to use a simplemirror square or plate from the dollar store as a base.Try arranging a couple of sizes of small clear glass vases with candles in them and add a touchy of greenery. Another simple idea is to stagger varying heights of candles, add some greenery with a few gold or silver miniature ornaments. Christmas ornaments in a tall glass container is a simple table arrangement and very inexpensive We saw at one of the homes on the Walk where they had added greenery place mats to their charger plates. It created a very festive look.
Themes: We do 2 trees. One is a nature theme with ornaments depicting birds, reindeer and winter scenery. On that tree our accents are burgundy. The other tree is Santa heads in Cream and Gold. I had a friend whose husband was a hunter and she decorated in a hunters theme with deer heads. Our son's family have a Disney tree because they love Disney and have great family memories there together. Our son-in-law has a family friend back home in Newfoundland who crochet miniature tree ornaments for them. They are beautiful and evoke special memories for him.
If you are at a loss and just want to add a new touch to your Christmas Décor, Pintrest is an excellent source. I have given you some examples above. Put your own twist on what you see and share for all to enjoy.
Ihope we have given you some ideas. Perhaps this is the year to add a new touch to your Christmas decorating. Have fun and enjoy!